Some say the world will end with fire.

Others say with ice.

From what I've tasted of desire

I hold with those that favor fire.

But if I had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate,

To say that for destruction ice,

Is also great and would suffice.

Robert Frost


"Good things come to those who wait, but, only the things LEFT by those who hustle." - Unknown (at least by me)

"Life is wonderful, without it you are dead." - Hy "Pete" Peterson - Park City and Kenecott Miner

"Don't worry about those people in your past---there is a reason they are not in your present." - Unknown

"Life's tough - it's even tougher if you're stupid." - John Wayne

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary!" - Vince Lombardi

"If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re probably taking up too much space.” ~ Attributed to Jim Whittaker by Doug ‘Swani’ Swantner, Alaska Smokejumper and Air Attack Base Manager (Ret.)

About Me

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I am married and have seven children and twenty grandchildren. I retired January 1, 2010 after working 39+ years for the Forest Service...NEW CHAPTER IN MY LIFE HAS BEGUN!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I have been thinking about this blog since Veterans Day and decided I needed to share it with you.

I was in West Virginia on a wildland fire a few years ago. The close out for the fire was scheduled at a motel in Washington D.C. so we could finish up the close out and fly home easily. We generally have about a half day to see some things following a fire so we went to the Mall near the Capitol.

I loved the Lincoln Memorial and we took the team picture with all of us on the steps. Following the team picture we were given instructions that we had two hours to look around and then we were to be back at the Lincoln Memorial to catch the bus to the motel.

I had a very good high school friend who was killed in action in Viet Nam so I dedided I would go to the wall and find his name. Many people told me that visiting the wall was a religious experience for most people that went there. So here's the story:

I went to the wall and there are books of names giving the location of all who died by date and a location of their name on one of the blocks of granite by number and the row on which the name is carved into the coal black granite. When I started looking at the book there were just over 100 people at the wall and the entire next graduating class from Anapolis, who were there to see peoples reactions to the memorial.

As I left the book there were no people (zero) on the walkway to the wall and the entire graduating class from Anapolis was no longer there. I walked to the wall and found my friends name. I sat down at the wall and got a piece of paper out and a pencil and rubbed a copy of his name from the monument to take home with me. When I finished I looked up and the entire Anapolis class was on the overlook deck looking down at me. There were still no people on the sidewalks in the memorial.

I started to walk out and one of my friends met me. He asked me what I had done to run all of the people out of there. I told him I hadn't done anything---it just turned out that way---he laughed and said "I don't think so---you had to have done something. People don't just abandon the wall like that."

We walked perhaps 100 more feet and the memorial was full again. So I leave it with you with a question. What happened that day in the Viet Nam Memorial? I will tell you that I was reunited with my friend for about five minutes. It was more than a religious experience and this is the first I have shared it---if you are ever in D.C. stop in at this memorial. It is a sad remembrance of all that were lost but there is more to the granite wall than anyone knows. You see pictures of people touching the wall with a soldier inside the granite touching their hand. I assure you that it is that close.

Hope this leaves you thankful for all those that fought for our freedom and especially for those that died. Even those in the thankless Viet Nam War.

I wish I could go back and do it again but if I ever do I would much rather visit the World War II exhibit which was not there at the time and which recognizes a whole generation that gave everything to assure we remained free---and not only us but England, France and the rest of the free world---GOD BLESS YOU!!!!


Delirious said...

That's a neat experience. Thanks for sharing.

PsychDoctor said...

Nice...As many as died in WWII, the wall would be extremely large...I can't even fathom how many milatary men lost their lives

deputymomof6 said...

You didn't scare them away, they all could sense that you needed a moment!! LOL

Amber said...

that was a very cool story - I'm glad you were able to do that! :) we used to live next door to a vietnam vet when I was little who'd lost his legs to a mine, he was an incredible guy and taught us alot about life!